RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Should Muscovites fear Muslims?”

Russian Mosque file photo

Over the past decade the Russian capital’s Muslim population has swelled to almost 2 million, or about 15 percent of the total population. This has led to tensions with locals who are increasingly suspicious of the newcomers’ intentions, brash behavior and strict religious traditions. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEVGENY LEVKOVICH, RBTH – March 13, 2017) [Text with […]

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NEWSLINK: “The ‘Russia Scare’ Coalition: ISIL’s ‘Useful Idiots’? Victory by the ‘Russia scare’ coalition will limit America’s ability to fight ISIL, complicate efforts to win UNSC support for tough enforcement of the Iran nuclear deal and give China more leverage over both Moscow and Washington.” – The National Interest editorial

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“The turmoil surrounding Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation and wider allegations of links between President Donald Trump, his campaign and Russia seems to have made a strong impression in Moscow. Many there had already calibrated initially unrealistic expectations after Mr. Trump’s initial weeks in office; recent events have tempered even these more limited ambitions. Hopes have long faded that Washington […]

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What Vladimir Putin Could Explain to Donald Trump

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Jack Matlock, U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991 – jackmatlock.com – January 31, 2017) The telephone conversation last Saturday between the American and Russian presidents seems to have been amicable and constructive, at least in a general sense. They are reported to have discussed key world issues as potential partners, not as adversaries or enemies. That […]

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Demographic Collapse of Ethnic Russian Nation Seen Accelerating

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 25, 2017) Russian demographers predict that the total population of the Russian Federation will be relatively stable over the next two decades but only because of massive immigration from Central Asia and the Caucasus and still high birthrates and relatively low death rates among the traditionally Muslim nationalities of Russia itself. […]

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Russia’s Moves, Terrorism Fuel Talk of War in Europe – The Daily Signal [also appeared as “Europeans are quietly preparing for war with Russia” at Newsweek.com]

Europe Map

[article also appeared at Newsweek.com as “Europeans are quietly preparing for war with Russia”] (Nolan Peterson – @nolanwpeterson – The Daily Signal – dailysignal.com – The Heritage Foundation – heritage.org – KYIV, Ukraine, Aug. 3, 2016) Whether referring to Russian aggression in the east or to the threat of Islamist terrorism in the West, Europe’s political, media, and religious elite […]

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RBTH: Why does Moscow need Syrian Kurdistan?

Syria Map

Why is the Kremlin supporting the Syrian Kurds, who are now complicating the reginal picture by pushing for federalization, and how will this affect Russian assistance to the Bashar al-Assad regime? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – SERGEI DEMIDENKO, SPECIAL TO RBTH – March 24, 2016) Sergei Demidenko is a Middle East expert and professor at the Russian Presidential […]

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Chechen Separatist Leader: Kadyrov Is Here To Stay

Ramzan Kadyrov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Natalya Golitsyna – February 19, 2016) One of Ramzan Kadyrov’s staunchest critics says the Chechen leader remains one of the most powerful men in Russia despite mounting criticism over his ruthless tactics. According to Akhmed Zakayev, the exiled head of the Chechen separatist government, Kadyrov has accumulated so much clout that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: “Chechnya Holds Classes to Counter IS Propaganda”

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

AP covers Chechnya’s difficulties with Islamic terrorist recruiting. Authorities in Russia’s predominantly Muslim republic of Chechnya have organized classes to stave off Islamic State recruitment. Thousands … have joined IS in Syria … some have taken senior positions. Islamic militancy has engulfed Russia’s North Caucasus … nearly 1,000 people are believed to have left Dagestan from Syria, the number of […]

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Combating ISIS from within; Officials look for ways to stop the influence of Islamic State along Russia’s southern borders.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEY TIMOFEYCHEV, RBTH – December 1, 2015) On the eve of the Paris attacks, ISIS extremists published a video in Russian: “Soon, very soon,” it said, “there will be a sea of blood.” Experts believe ISIS is indeed a real threat for Russia. On Oct. 31, a Russian plane exploded, killing all 224 […]

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Ummah: Islam in the post-Soviet world

Russian Mosque file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Editors of OpenDemocracy Russia – October 19, 2015) oDR introduces a new series devoted to reporting and comment on Islamic life in the post-Soviet space. The Ummah, the worldwide community of Muslims, comprises millions of members across the post-Soviet space. The inhabitants of five republics in Central Asia-Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan-have enthusiastically embraced their ancestral faith […]

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Five facts about Moscow’s new central mosque

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) on September 23, a new central mosque was thrown open to the public after a special ceremony in Moscow. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Galina Babich, special to RBTH – September 23, 2015) [Photos here asia.rbth.com/society/2015/09/23/five_facts_about_moscows_new_central_mosque_49461.html] 1. One of the largest mosques in Russia The central Moscow […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Islamist threat to Russia looms large at Central Asia security summit

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

The Kremlin is increasingly concerned about an Islamist uprising in one of the weak autocracies along its southern flank, all of which will be attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit today in Ufa, Russia

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Nearly 90% of Russians Oppose Polygamy, Poll Shows

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – June 3, 2015) Weeks after a Chechen police chief took a 17-year-old local girl as his second bride, a state-run pollster has revealed that 87 percent of Russians stand opposed to the practice of polygamy among the population as a whole. The figure, based on a poll conducted by VTsIOM, represents a […]

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Interfax: Most Russians unaware of ISIL, others see it as threat to peace, Russia – poll

Map of Iraq

MOSCOW. Oct 9 (Interfax) – Only 13% of Russians are aware of the existence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and 54% learned about it during a poll held by the Public Opinion Foundation. Another 26% of 1,500 respondents polled in 43 regions on September 28 had heard something about the ISIL, and 7% failed to […]

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Islamic State Grooms Chechen Fighters Against Putin

Map of Iraq

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Michael Winfrey – October 9, 2014) When the Islamic State commander known as “Omar the Chechen” called to tell his father they’d routed the Iraqi army and taken the city of Mosul, he added a stark message: Russia would be next. “He said ‘don’t worry dad, I’ll come home and show the Russians,’” Temur Batirashvili said […]

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What is it like to be a Muslim in Russia?

Russian Mosque File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – February 3, 2014) RBTH talks to Muslims in Russia and searches for the reasons behind the country’s apprehensive attitude toward Islam. Muslims are the second largest religious denomination in Russia, and they have peacefully coexisted with Orthodox believers over many centuries. However, in recent decades, Russians have started behaving […]

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Russia not interested in tensions between West, Islamic world – Putin

Russian Mosque File Photo

(Interfax – Ufa, October 22, 2013) The voice of Russian Muslim figures should be heard better both on the international arena and in the international Islamic community, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Tensions between the West and the Islamic world are increasing today. And someone is trying to gamble on this theme by adding firewood to this fire. We are […]

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Russian Suicide Bomb Spurs Terror Alert as Putin Meets Muftis

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer and Ilya Arkhipov – October 22, 2013) Russian investigators probed yesterday’s suicide bombing that killed six bus passengers in Volgograd as the southern region was placed on high alert hours before President Vladimir Putin met Muslim clerics. The suspected female suicide bomber arrived from the capital of the mainly Muslim region of Dagestan, disembarking […]

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Ethnic Tensions in Moscow Spook the City’s Migrants

Biryulyovo Riots file photo

(Howard Amos, RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 16, 2013) Public prayers to mark the beginning of the Islamic feast of Eid al-Adha were not as crowded as usual this year in Moscow. A violent nationalist rampage over the weekend has left the city’s migrant laborers, many of them from mainly Muslim former Soviet nations, feeling uneasy. Speaking outside the Cathedral […]

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Nationalist Riots In Moscow Send Fear Through Muslim Migrant Communities

Biryulyovo Riots file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, October 14, 2013) Moscow’s migrant workers have seen this story before and they believe they have reason to be afraid. When an unidentified man — believed to be from the Caucasus — stabbed and killed a young ethnic Russian on October 10, triggering the capital’s worst ethnic riots in three years, police […]

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Russia’s North Caucasus, Islamists seen as main terrorist threats – poll

Map of Chechnya and Environs

(Interfax – September 7, 2013) A majority of Russians (55 per cent) are confident, to greater or lesser extent, that the authorities are able to protect the public from new terrorist attacks, Russian Interfax news agency reported on 3 September, quoting the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM). (1) This answer has become more popular over the past three years […]

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Five New Statistics about Russia That Say More Than a Glance Might Suggest

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 1, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-five-new-statistics.html) Five new statistics about Russia this past week ­ one about Muslims in the army, a second about the state of its roads, a third about the number of illegal migrants in the country, a fourth about Russian attitudes toward religious instruction in the schools, and a […]

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Primakov alarmed by inter-Islamic strife in Middle East

Middle East Map

Moscow, January, 15, Interfax – Russia’s ex prime-minister, Mercury Club president and Academy of Science Presidium member Evgeny Primakov said it is wrong to look at the Islamic forces in the Middle East as a single camp. “About two years have passed since the Arab Spring wave of revolutionary protests toppled the authoritarian rulers in the Middle East and North […]

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Nearly 40% of Russians Justify Islamic Anger With Innocence of Muslims – Poll

Russian Mosque File Photo

MOSCOW. Sept 28 (Interfax) – Sixty-two percent of Russians are aware of the Innocence of Muslims scandalous film released in the United States. Thirty-three percent of them have heard a lot about the film, and 6% are monitoring the situation closely, the Levada Center told Interfax. Thirty-nine percent of the respondents learned about the film in the poll of 1,601 […]

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Russian Prosecutors Seek ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Ban

File Photo of Mosque in Kazan and other Landmarks

MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti)-The Prosecutor General’s Office has declared the film “Innocence of Muslims” extremist and will seek a court ruling to ban the controversial video in Russia, its spokeswoman said on Monday. Before a court ruling the Prosecutor General’s Office has instructed the federal mass communications watchdog “to take measures to prevent media distribution of the information contained […]

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